The leadership of the Coconut Federation of Ghana (CocoFed) has commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for including coconut in the National Tree Crop Development Authority (NTCDA) which was established after the passing of the National Tree Crops Development Bill by Parliament in December 2019.
Addressing members of the Federation and journalists in Accra, the President of CoCoFed, Patrick Ndabiah, thanked the President for establishing NTCDA which is mandated to develop and regulate production, processing, marketing and export of Coconut and other selected tree crops.
He said, the Coconut Federation, under the NTCDA is thus well-positioned to accelerate Ghana's position to earn a significant share of the estimated $15 billion global coconut industry by 2024, through business development, employment creation and livelihood opportunities along the Ghanaian coconut value chain.
He therefore called on coconut actors outside the Federation to join the various associations which constitute CocoFed.
Below is the full statement:
Members of the Coconut Federation of Ghana and partners, Invited guests Friends from the Media, Ladies and gentlemen;
The contribution of coconut industry to the development of many economies has proven to be an indispensable tool towards many poverty reduction efforts. The utilization and alternative uses of coconut have received the highest acceptance and recognition all over the world.
Every part of the coconut plant has become a key support for many businesses ranging from automobile, food, cosmetic and to the agri-tourism industries alongside other household consumables. Coconut agribusiness has finally become the main livelihood support for many people especially the Ghanaian farmers.
However, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ghanaian coconut industry has struggled to gain recognition of policy and decision makers over the years. In the wake of high incidence of large coconut farms wiped by the Cape Saint Pauls Wilt (CSPW) disease, weak marketing and pricing regimes, poor access to farm inputs especially CSPW resistant planting materials, various calls for support especially at the side of production and distribution of certified planting materials and marketing was never welcomed.
Coconut actors in Ghana were left to their fate struggling through their activities with no support system thereby becoming vulnerable to other patrons of coconut produce, products and its derivatives. Many farmers abandoned their farms, others diversified from coconut and coconut dependent businesses struggled to break even.
The Coconut Federation experienced the greatest joy when finally H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
The PERD Programme, a collaborative implementation initiative between Ministries for Food and Agriculture and Local Government and Rural Development is a market oriented rural base agricultural intervention that seeks to diversify the Ghanaian economy from cocoa dependency to a more wider export portfolio to generate at least US$2billion from each of the seven commodities under the programme namely Coconut, Cashew, Coffee, Oil Palm, Mango, Shea and Rubber.
One remarkable achievement of the PERD programme is the successful formalization of the Ghanaian Coconut Industry through the birth of the Coconut Federation of Ghana (CoCoFEG). Coconut Federation is the mother organization overseeing the following associations namely,
Coconut Exporters Association of Ghana (CEAG)
Coconut Processors Association of Ghana (CPAG)
Coconut Farmers Association of Ghana (CFAG)
Coconut Seed Garden and Nursery Association of Ghana (CoSNAG) and National Coconut Sellers Association, Ghana (NaCoSAG).
Ladies and Gentlemen, further to this, the National Tree Crop Development Authority (NTCDA) bill was passed by parliament in December 2019. The Birth of the National Tree Crop Development Authority seeks to formalize the tree crop value chains and develop and institutionalize effective regulatory schemes mainly driven by the Ghanaian private sector.
The NTCDA is expected to develop and regulate production, processing, marketing and export of Coconut, Oil Palm, Cashew, Mango, Rubber and Shea. This has come at a good time and brought a sigh of great relieve to address the major bottlenecks and constraints along the Ghanaian coconut value chain.
With the projected value of global coconut industry pecked at US$15 billion by 2024, through the NTCDA, CoCoFEG is well positioned to accelerate Ghanas position for a significant share of the global coconut industry by creating more jobs and business and livelihood opportunities along the Ghanaian coconut value chain.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with the narrative above it is highly expedient at this point for the Coconut Federation of Ghana to commend His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the unprecedented advancement and commitment to develop the Ghanaian Coconut Industry.
By this we also wish to commend Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture and Hon. Hajia Halima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development for the effective collaboration towards the implementation of the PERD Programme and the establishment of National Tree Crop Development Authority.
Furthermore, we wish to take this opportunity to commend Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, Coordinator of the PERD Technical Advisory Committee, Mr. Seth Osei-Akoto, Director of Crop Services Directorate, Mr. Lawrence Agyinsam, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana EXIM Bank (GEXIM) who has taken coconut as one of his priority projects, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) for her contribution in promoting coconut through the Maiden International Coconut Festival in September 2019 and also providing funding support to train farmers to acquire Global Certification, Mr. Davies Korboe, Chairman of the African Coconut Group, the Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Western Regional Minister Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko for their enormous commitment to the Coconut Federation and for that matter the Ghanaian Coconut Industry.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with the strong collaboration between Coconut Federation and other key stakeholders such as MoFA, MLGRD, GEPA, GEXIM and CSIR, the Ghanaian Coconut industry will become the fastest growing industry to achieve the US$2billion annual target within the shortest possible time.
We therefore call upon anybody doing anything in the Ghanaian coconut industry to join any of the subsidiaries of the Federation for us to work together for mutual benefit and advance the progress of mother Ghana.
God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
God Bless His Excellency the President
God Bless Coconut Federation and its stakeholders
Patrick Ndabiah (President, Coconut Federation of Ghana)